Dad needing advice

(57 Posts)
Bouncybear Mon 17-Mar-14 09:12:17

Hi,

I'm a Dad (non-resident parent). Some of my contact with my son is by Skype. Yesterday I found out that the ex has been recording my Skype, presumably waiting for me to trip up and use that against me.

I am not happy that the ex is recording Skype because it is an unreasonable invasion of my private conversation with my son. I feel harassed by her doing this. She said that unless I allow her to record the sessions, then I am not allowed to see my son on Skype.

Am I being unreasonable to tell you I don't want Skype recorded?

BertieBotts Mon 17-Mar-14 09:20:20

Is there a lot of history here? Only it seems bizarre to jump straight to "she's planning to use this against me". That would not be my first assumption at all.

Have you asked her why she is recording it, or can you think of any reason why she might - for example has there been any history of anything being said, even by accident, which shouldn't have been?

Is there a court order regarding contact at all?

dammitsue Mon 17-Mar-14 09:20:45

Yanbu. How does she imagine you will trip up??

Monetbyhimself Mon 17-Mar-14 09:22:07

What would she be trying to use against you and in what context ?

notthegirlnextdoor Mon 17-Mar-14 09:24:17

She can't use it as you haven't given her permission to record it. Or at least it was like that a few years ago when a family member went through a similar thing.

pictish Mon 17-Mar-14 09:24:34

Depends.

AurorasDownTheRabbitHole Mon 17-Mar-14 09:24:37

YANBU it seems a bit strange to me. If the boot was on the other foot I'm sure your ex would be annoyed. However I agree with Bertie - Is there a lot of history? I wouldn't assume it was just to trip you up. Ask her honestly about it?
My mum and dad are still at war with each other (doing all they cam through me to get back at one another). I'm 22 btw. Find out whats going on and talk it through. Make it clear that it bothers you but be willing to compromise if her reasons are legit (not out to get you)

Bouncybear Mon 17-Mar-14 09:27:21

There is a history between us having an acrimonious break up and I feel she might be out to get me.

I can't see why she would be recording my private contact time with my son, unless she had something to gain. It's just a voice recording p, she said, not the video. So it's not like something my son can watch as a memory down the line - its for her purposes.

The worst I said when feeling a bit silly and emotional was 'Daddy loves you more than Mummy' - the ex said this was terrible and something she will show the court.

At the moment the arrangement is informal but I said I will now go to court. If I take it to court she might still insist on recording Skype. Will the court force me to accept Skype being recorded.

Monetbyhimself Mon 17-Mar-14 09:30:22

Daddy loves you more than mummy ?

You do realise the impact that sort of shite has on small children ? Ffs. Go to court. You'll get your arse handed to you on a plate.

AurorasDownTheRabbitHole Mon 17-Mar-14 09:30:27

Take it all to court. I'm sure it is against the law to record someone without their knowledge? I could be wrong ofc. I would put something permanent in place. Seek legal advice - she might be bluffing but it sounds like she is trying to collect evidence against you in your last post.

Bouncybear Mon 17-Mar-14 09:35:48

Monet I made a mistake.

If you think the courts are going to treat what I said really badly, then what's the point of fighting?

AurorasDownTheRabbitHole Mon 17-Mar-14 09:39:35

The point in fighting is YOUR SON. If you don't take this all to court your ex could hold it all against you for as long as she pleases. Is that what you want Bouncybear because it certainly sounds like your thinking of giving up. You made a stupid mistake - so what? As parents everyone does at some point. I would get legal advice. You admit you shouldn't have said that so you need to move forward with it all. If thats all your ex has against you then I would try to put something permanent in place. Think of your son in all of this. He needs you both.

LouiseSmith Mon 17-Mar-14 09:41:08

It was an unreasonable thing to say to your DS but people make mistakes.

Go to court. Good luck x

Sparklymommy Mon 17-Mar-14 09:42:46

I think if I were in your shoes I would accept her recording the Skype sessions. If it means you get that time with your son then I'd treat it as a necessary evil and be very careful not to say anything that might make things worse.

I would also work on making the relationship between you and your ex less acrimonious. Children pick up on that and it is not helpful. I thank my lucky stars that when my parents split up they managed to put myself and my brother first and although they had the odd disagreement (and obviously it wasnt easy to start with) they got on for us. So much so that they attended each others subsequent weddings and even went on holidays together for us kids. When my dad died five years ago my mum was one of the people most upset!

Monetbyhimself Mon 17-Mar-14 10:00:11

You made a mistake ? hmm One mistake which was recorded. How many more 'mistakes' have you made which weren't overheard? None that you'll admit to here I suspect.
A mistake is forgetting to pick up a pint of milk. Or not leaving the wheelie bin out on the correct day.

Bandying shite about loving a child most,with the sole intent of getting one up on your ex, confusing your child and potentially causing emotional damage is not a MISTAKE. She has every right to record you until you prove that you are not emotionally abusing your son.

And as for the 'poor me what's the point of fighting if I'm not going to win' crap? Get over yourself.

TensionWheelsCoolHeels Mon 17-Mar-14 10:05:25

I'm not sure why you would say that to your DS. What was the context? Where did that thought spring from? You are in complete control of what comes out of your mouth, so I don't buy the 'it was a mistake' line. By saying what you did, you put your DS in the middle of your dispute with your ex.

Have you tried mediation? You'll have to go through that before you get to court anyway. I'd also recommend you look into a parenting course, one aimed at separated parents, to help you (both) understand that using your DS to score points against each other is damaging your child and his relationship with both his parents.

WilsonFrickett Mon 17-Mar-14 10:06:04

Tell her to record all she likes. All she will hear is a good father communicating regularly and appropriately with his son.

Oh and then be a good father communicating regularly and appropriately with his son.

MeepMeepVrooom Mon 17-Mar-14 10:06:25

Giving the benefit of the doubt that it was a one off that you said it and you realise what a shitty thing it is to say and that actually it could have a terrible affect on your child I'll leave that comment to the side.

I accept it's an invasion of privacy, however I don't really think there is anything you can do about it. The point in fighting is your son. Plain and simple. If you don't fight your son will grow up thinking you weren't interested. I presume that's not what you want for him.

Maybe you should start recording the skype sessions yourself too, it would mean that nothing could be taken out of context. Chances are your ex has been advised to do this by her solicitor. I know one of my friends was advised the same but didn't actually carry it through. Ultimately, if you have nothing to hide (apart from this one comment) does it really matter?

ILoveWooly Mon 17-Mar-14 10:06:25

The bare facts are -
What you said was wrong. You are the parent, it is your job to keep your emotions in check and remember your son matters more than anything.

Your Ex could easily say you knew the calls were being recorded and, although you didn't like it, you continued to use this form of contact.

Do you have other contact?

Thetallesttower Mon 17-Mar-14 10:08:19

I certainly make mistakes and say stupid or nasty things to my children, not often though, and certainly you were a twit to say that- why compare parents at all, that is not necessary.

You are in this situation now, I wouldn't mind being recorded myself as I don't think I have a lot to hide and generally have silly and fun conversations with my children on the phone.

Is all your contact through Skype or is some of it face to face? If nearly all of it is Skype then this is different, you may want to have difficult or awkward chats over the years you don't want recorded. If you use Skype to say hi and see each other in person I would be less fussed.

I am not sure that the pain of going to court is worth it just to establish a right not to record- even if it is legally justifiable. I mean the pain to your child- having your parents do this type of stuff must be very upsetting.

BlackeyedSusan Mon 17-Mar-14 10:14:28

was that dad loves you more than mummy

or dad love you more than mummy does? they are two different things.

BlackeyedSusan Mon 17-Mar-14 10:15:09

ie if divorced you are not going to love mummy much are you?

pictish Mon 17-Mar-14 10:22:42

"Daddy loves you more than Mummy" ffs hmm

Look...you said a stupid thing...a manipulative and inappropriate thing, and in that moment made it all about you, at the expense of your son's security.

I don't know the ins and outs of where she stands legally in recording your conversations with your son, but she will be genuinely concerned about what other shit you're going to pedal out, using your son as a mouthpiece, and a tool to score points.
You may be confident you won't do it again and it was a one off, but she clearly isn't.

I suggest legal representation for both of you.

Bouncybear Mon 17-Mar-14 10:26:12

It feels unfair that she is recording me. I have no doubt she says the wrong things to him too at times. But those won't get recorded now, will they? It is very one sided.

I want to be there for my son. But the ex is pushing me away by insisting that she invades my private time with my son.

I am scared the court are going to hear the selected recording where I said the unwise comment and forget about all the rest of the positive things I have been saying and doing with my son. I am fighting for my son, but I also don't want to fight a battle I'm going to lose.

Pootrouble Mon 17-Mar-14 10:32:07

Parents say and do silly things. Speak to your solicitor and see what they advise and in future try and keep your emotions level! Let her record if she likes until she realises that she will record nothing but you being loving and kind towards your son. She will get bored of evidence collecting when there's nothing to collect.

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